From: John Cole, Oakroyd Terrace, Baildon, Shipley.
THE Liberal Government that came to power in 1905 found itself, to an extent, hamstrung in its attempts at radical reform by a House of Lords dominated by Conservative peers.
In response to Lloyd George’s criticism of the Lords as “five hundred men accidentally chosen from the ranks of the unemployed”, a Conservative MP asserted that the Lords constituted “the watchdog of the constitution”. Lloyd George denied that Tory claim and said the Lords were merely “Mr Balfour’s poodle” (Arthur Balfour MP being the Conservative leader in the Commons).
Their Lordships in the Upper House are to be congratulated for their sterling work in contesting the crass stupidity of Brexit. The peers have proved themselves far from being “Mrs May’s poodle” but have justly earned that earlier Conservative accolade of “the watchdog of the constitution”.
Contrasting the years 1910 and 2018, there has been a complete role reversal. Theresa May has allowed herself to be “bounced” by a minority of Brexit ideologues into over-interpreting the result of an advisory-only referendum Politics in this country needs the brake that the Lords are putting on things – in the hope that, in the long run, good sense will prevail.
From: R Hartley, Shadwell Lane, Leeds.
WHAT correspondent John Turley forgets – conveniently – is that the 1975 referendum was for a Common Market. Following the party line, which I did reluctantly, I voted for trading without barriers in Europe, even though it seemed to me to be betraying the Commonwealth countries.
When I questioned Edward Heath about not being able to trade with Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he dismissed the question saying: “Oh, they’ll trade with Japan and China! They’re nearer!” I did not vote for a United States of Europe – in effect an alliance between German and France. Both those Governments have reasons to minimise British influence and they will succeed unless we exit cleanly.
From: L Brook, Rothwell, Leeds.
WE joined the Common Market many years ago, but the “club” has increased its power and intentions, so that we have already lost control of our laws and we are one step away from “The United States of Europe” with its own army, so we will not even have sole control of decisions of war or peace.
Staying in the “club” is actually surrendering our country, since we would become a state of Europe.